I normally keep a low profile at the tables, but this was just too much for me. I reared up and bellowed, "Just to change color' you want MY identification? MISTER, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! I'M GOING TO THE CASINO CONTROL COMMISSION ON THE FLOOR! LET ME SEE YOUR IDENTIFICATION! LET ME SEE YOUR BADGE!" (All Atlantic City casinos have a Casino Control Commission office on the casino floor.)
The gambler, now intimidated, started to back away. I made a show of it as I copied his name onto a napkin. Of course I got my change of color, and of course I did nothing in regard to the nasty pit boss. Like I said, I keep a low profile. I wasn't looking for trouble.
And now for the story I promised at last chapter's end.
I never expected a major casino to go to the extreme lengths of risking their casino license just to steal money from me, and right off the blackjack table!
Maybe they knew something—perhaps a lapse in video surveillance at my table. Maybe they took me for a hick from the sticks who didn't know his way around a casino. Maybe I rankled them just enough with my almost systematic whittling away at their casino that they became so infuriated that they just didn't give a damn, and wanted to scare me away from their casino. It could have been any one of the above,- maybe it was none of the above. The only thing I am certain of is that between $1,500 and $1,800 was stolen from me by a couple of casino executives, right in front of me, as I sat at a $100 minimum table in their baccarat pit.
A few years back, I would take a day off a week—sometimes even two days off if I had a good outing earlier in the week—and bus it into Atlantic City for five hours of "hit and run." I'd take the first bus (7:00 A.M.) to the seashore, which got me there by 9:30.
By 9:45 I'd be at the tables, hopefully chipping away at the casinos one-by-one, a coupla hundred here, a coupla hundred there. (Oh sure, there were weeks when 1 lost my seed money and dragassed home early like a beaten dog.) By 2:45 I'd taxi to the old Atlantic City bus terminal, which has since been razed, in time to catch the 3:00 P.M. bus to New York, which would bring me home by 5:30 P.M.
Five hours traveling, five hours in the casinos. A perfect day at the seashore. I guess after a while the pit bosses and casino executives had me spotted as a weekday afternoon "hitman" at their blackjack tables.
That fateful Thursday afternoon I wandered into the baccarat pjt 0f—no, in fairness I won't name the casino, as it has since changed hands. This particular casino, like my old reliable Sahara in Las Vegas, was my personal "Gong"—I hit it rather regularly. Usually it would be for only a couple hundred,- sometimes half-a-grand. Sure, many times I'd lose it all at the Next Casino on my itinerary, but that particular casino for some reason was usually a pay-off place for me. I suppose the honchos were tearing their hair out in frustration over my frequent winning forays.
It was rather late for me that particular Thursday afternoon, a little after 2:00. My Gong casino was going to be my last stop for the day,- I had already hit it earlier that day for $175 as my first "call," right off the bus. This was my second visit to the seashore that week,- I was there Tuesday and did well, especially at my old faithful Gong casino.
Surveying the floor, I wandered into the baccarat pit. There were a couple of $50 minimum blackjack tables in operation,- one was nearly packed, while the other had two smokers playing. I don't play at tables with smokers because I don't play with losers, and smokers are losers. In the rear was an empty $100 minimum table. I opted for the back table. I started my play and, this being the Gong casino, I found myself on a streak. After a bit, I noticed that the lady dealer was peering over my shoulder and looking agitated. She then started to speed up the play. As I was winning, I played right along with the gag, quipping about her sudden burst of energy with the cards. Finally, at the end of the shoe I pushed in my piles of chips and told her, "Change of color, please."
Now I'm going to take it s-l-o-w-l-y in describing exactly what happened next. Very suddenly—from out of nowhere—a man appeared to my left,- there he was, a smiling, fast-talking thirtyish casino executive. He moved so close to me that I could feel his hot breath on my cheek. He thrust his "glad hand" in front of me, all the time talking nonstop, proffering some kind of casino comp. With his sudden "friendly" intrusion and his extended hand, instinctively and civilly I turned my face toward him and extended my own hand.Share on: